Yesterday C and I celebrated our Thalai Deepavali – which means the FIRST Diwali as a married couple! It’s supposed to be the most special and auspicious of occasions since it is out first Diwali as husband and wife. For those not familiar with Diwali, I’ll give a brief explanation.
This, the “festival of lights” is one of the most important and celebrated occasions of the Hindu faith!It is a festival that honors the triumph of good over evil whereby those celebrating light lamps or candles in their homes to signify this triumph. Firecrackers are burst and light up the night’s sky to drive away evil spirits, homes are cleaned immaculately to make the Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) feel welcome and encourage her to visit and grace your home, sweets are consumed quite generously as part of this tradition, as well, people are to wear new clothes and dress for the occasion! In addition to Diwali marking the end of harvest season in India, there is a lot more spiritual significance to the festival as well. For example, more than just celebrating Lord Ram’s victory over the evil king and the return of Lord Ram’s wife (Sita), but also, this Festival of Light seeks to acknowledge one’s own inner light as well. The brightness of one’s intelligence, integrity, prosperity and peace. Although, as I wrote there are many legends and spiritual significances to this festival, one thing remains the same no matter what faith you are or where you are celebrating — Diwali is a day to give thanks to life and all its goodness.
So, back to our Thalai Deepavali. C and I had been preparing for days! We cleaned the house from top to bottom, we made several trips to Little India to ensure we had all the lights we needed, the candles, the decorations and the food! C put up the lights around the house – they look so cool and festive, and will also double as our Christmas lights, we organized the candles around the house to light Diwali night, and generally added a few more decorations here and there to spruce things up. We got up early on Diwali morning to start cooking, since we were having our friends over for a pot-luck lunch! It was my first time cooking for people other than my husband, not to mention cooking INDIAN FOOD!! haha. We made rice, sambhar, dal and veggies and potato and carrot curry. We also made the obligatory Indian sweet for the occasion. Surprisingly, it all turned out really quite good proving that C and I make a pretty good team, even in the kitchen 🙂
I must admit, even though it was a wonderful day and I had such a great time with my husband and friends, I was a little sad that we were not in India celebrating with family. Oh well – there is always next year! It’s so great to be introduced into such a rich culture. I am having such a great time learning about my husband’s culture and traditions that span back thousands of years. It adds another layer to our family, for sure. And, it works both ways! Although, my traditions I bring to the table are definitely not as old, or historically significant, they are still special and exciting for him since it is all new, and he is learning new things along the way as well!
Next week, we will be celebrating C and my first Thanksgiving as a married couple 🙂 Sure he has been to Thanksgiving dinners in the US, but I can guarantee he hasn’t tasted an apple pie like mine! Which reminds me, I have to get cracking on piecing together all the ingredients for our feast next week! Mashed potatoes, stuffing, biscuits, green beans, salad (maybe Turkey … I’m actually not a big fan, so I might decide to cook a chicken instead), and of course … the apple pie (since I am also not a huge fan of the pumpkin pies, haha). Thank god we are marathon training — all of these festivals and feasts are really starting to pile on the calories – yikes!